How to change the front shock absorbers with your own hands

The correct operation of the vehicle shock absorbers ensures not only comfortable, but also safe movement on the roads. The function of shock absorbers is to silence vibrations of a car body; for this, inside they have a piston going up and down through a viscous fluid. As a rule, they have a long service life, but since the potholes and pits for our roads are the norm, the movement along such a web seriously affects the service life of the shock absorber assemblies. In turn, a faulty suspension affects the rapid deterioration of the steering elements.

You can avoid the consequences by immediately replacing the failed shock absorbers. According to statistics, the front shock absorbers break more often than the rear, this is due to the fact that the front suspension first takes the blows of uneven pavement. For this reason, the question of how to change the front shock absorbers worries many. You can replace the front shock absorbers yourself, provided that it does not concern the complete replacement of parts of the entire shock absorber system, when its service life has come to an end and it cannot perform its main task - damping the vibrations of the car body.

Replacing front shock absorbers

Front gas oil shock absorbers


  • 2 The history of the creation of shock absorbers
  • 3 Types of shock absorbers
    • 3.1 Oily двухтрубные амортизаторы
    • 3.2 Monotube gas
    • 3.3 Gas-oil twin-tube
    • 3.4 Pneumatic shock absorbers
  • 4 Differences front and rear shock absorbers
  • 5 When do I need to replace the front shock absorbers?
  • 6 Tools needed for replacement
  • 7 Disassembly / classic front shock absorber replacement


During a collision with an unevenness, the wheel of the car rises, overcoming the resistance of the springs or suspension springs. When the pit is impressive, the wheel rises along with the body, and when the bump ends, under the action of inertia, the wheel pulls up for some time. This is due to the pressure of gravity and the energy of the compressed suspension spring. Also, under the action of inertia, a heavier body is able to rise and lift the wheel off the ground by a few centimeters, after which it returns to its original position, hitting the wheel on the ground, and the top again departs due to the compressed spring. Such maneuvers occur several times, during which the car becomes uncontrollable, since the wheels arrive in the air and can not affect the speed or the controllability of the vehicle. Shock absorbers that resist this buildup, put on the vehicle, to reduce the jumping ability of the suspension. The principle of their work - the higher the speed, the stronger the resistance.

The history of the creation of shock absorbers

At first, there were no shock absorbers on the machines; their task was performed by springs - body vibrations were muffled due to friction of steel plates. As the speed of the cars grew over the years, the designers had to undertake the construction of separate dampers (shock absorbers) to ensure safety. The first models were packages compressed friction discs. On the hummocks, they turned over with difficulty and thereby suppressed the oscillation energy. Their disadvantages are strong overheating and rapid wear. In the 20s of the last century, they created an alternative. A liquid was taken as a basis, which, flowing from one container to another through calibrated holes, prevented the vehicle from oscillations. Although this type of dampers was famous for its forms, it was replaced by telescopic shock absorbers, which are compact in size and light in weight. In addition, they were much safer and did not overheat. This type of dampers is common to this day.

Do I need to do similarity collapse after replacing the front shock absorbers

Front shock absorbers BMW E39

Types of shock absorbers

There are five types of dampers:

  1. Oily.
  2. Gas.
  3. Combined.
  4. Pneumatic.
  5. Automatic. Happen with hydraulics-mechanical or electronic adjustment.

Oily двухтрубные амортизаторы

Differently they are called hydraulic. They are reliable, despite such a simple design. Their design is nothing but two tubes: the first for the piston stroke and the second for the storage of excess fluid. While driving, they create comfort by ensuring a smooth ride, however, the downside is that this does not apply to Russian roads. Since they are unsuitable for bad roads, driving on bumps increases the speed of the piston as it eventually overheats, and cavitation bubbles appear on its surface. In another way, such a reaction is called “foaming” of an oily liquid; it leads to the fact that the dampers lose most of their shock-absorbing properties.

How to change the front shock absorbers

Front shock absorbers

Gas однотрубные

Unlike the two-pipe shock absorbers, the body of the product itself acts as a camera for work. Although they are called gas, they have oil in the upper part, and nitrogen is pumped into the lower part. The device case with a standard landing size, can accommodate a large number of different working personnel, despite the fact that the camera is common. If we compare it with oil twin-tube pipes, they are smaller in mass, however, they provide for the possibility to carry out the installation in an inverted state. They do not overheat, as they have good heat transfer. Of the minuses - a short service life, even minor damage affects the shelf life.

See also: Major power steering faults

Gas-oil twin-tube

At cost, it is much more expensive than previous types, however, they are able to withstand not the best roads. They have a complex structure and a smooth ride. On the dampers of this type there is an automatic adjustment. In operation, the shock absorbers are almost noiseless, even when driving fast on bad roads.

Pneumatic shock absorbers

They are very expensive, installed on luxury cars. Most often, pneumatics are used tuning studio to give the car unusual properties. The high price is justified by the quality. Pneumatic shock absorbers incorporate advanced technologies, they can independently keep the car body in a stable mode while driving on bumpy roads. They have the ability to increase or decrease ground clearance, depending on the road surface.

Replacing front shock absorbers

Gas shock absorbers

Differences front and rear shock absorbers

Конечно, главным отличием выступает срок службы. Front shock absorbers ломаются быстрее. Это связано с тем, что у большинства нынешних машин двигатель располагается спереди, а значит, передняя часть берет на себя больше нагрузок. Переход на передний привод сделал невозможным использование традиционных амортизаторов в передней подвеске. Соответственно требования к амортизаторам ожесточились. Применять стали двухрычажную переднюю подвеску с амортизаторами идентичным задним, но имеющим другие параметры рабочей характеристики. Также отличия есть в размере и способе крепления.

When do I need to replace the front shock absorbers?

The frequency of replacement of shock absorbers depends on three factors - the quality of the product, the suitability of the vehicle mass and driving style. For this reason, the service life of shock absorbers for car owners is different. In some, replacement should be carried out once a year, while others calmly walk for 3–7 years. Experienced drivers will easily identify the failure of the shock absorber while driving. Already at a speed of over 70 km / h, the car begins to “float” along the road, and when driving over the pits, the car body jumps, accompanied by muffled sounds.

 Do I need to do similarity collapse after replacing the front shock absorbers

Replacing front shock absorbers

You can also check the serviceability by pushing on the wing of the vehicle and releasing at the lower point of the course. If the shock absorber is suitable, it will immediately return the vehicle to its original position without hesitation. In addition, maintenance cannot be avoided when there are corrosive traces on the spring support of the shock absorber. It is impossible to disregard this, because in a short time the spring plate may come off. Oil leaks are also not trivial, since in the absence of pressure in the device, its work on damping vibrations will simply not be performed. If there is corrosion or deformation of the piston rod, it will lead to failure of the gland, and this guarantees malfunction of the chassis and the brake system.

It is worth noting that the replacement of the rear shock absorbers, as well as the front ones, is carried out in a comprehensive manner; it is necessary to replace the parts on both sides, even if only one is not correct.

Tools needed for replacement

Since the front suspension is considered more complex in design, the operation to replace the front shock absorber takes longer. As a rule, work on the replacement of the front or rear shock absorbers, do not have dramatic differences. For both cases, the same tools are needed, but sometimes there are individual tools that arise depending on the specific model:

  1. Screwdriver (cross and longitudinal).
  2. Cap and rozhkovy keys.
  3. A set of heads with a wrench and extenders.
  4. Recoil devices.
  5. Balloon key.
  6. Spring puller.
  7. Iron brush.
  8. Liquid WD - 40.
  9. One or two jacks and goats for safety net.
  10. Hammer.
  11. Underride "shoes".

    How to change the front shock absorbers

    Gas shock absorbers

Dismantling / classic replacement of front shock absorbers

Remove the cover from the hood and then carry out the following steps:

  • remove the engine compartment seal and other parts that block access to the upper support of the rack;
  • remove the cap. Using a wrench, unscrew the top mounting nut. This is done with the help of a head with an extension;
  • remove the rubber pad. Against scrolling of a rod we use passatizh and a wrench;
  • unscrew the lower mounting nuts of the wheel, and jack up the car a few centimeters from the floor. For safety, insert the stand, you can use the removed wheel, placing it under the threshold;
  • further, brush, fasten the brake hose, thread the hinge stabilizer bar bolts strut steering knuckle and screw. After wiping them with kerosene or pouring everything with a “liquid key”;
  • gently remove the connectors from the wear indicator pads and wheel position sensors, then take it to the side so as not to hurt;
  • remove the plugs. Take the caliper to the side so that it does not interfere, you can attach it to the lever;
  • puller remove the spring. Work should be done carefully so as not to make the spring tilt;
  • take the key for 15 and remove the rack with the disks;
  • holding the "finger" torx for 8 unscrew the central bolt. After that, remove the nuts securing the ball to the lever;

    Replacing front shock absorbers

    Damper nut of 17

  • unscrew the top 3 bolts on each side under the hood. Turning the last bolt, hold the bottom of the rack for the spring with your hand;
  • bolt, swivel clamp clamp, clean and soak in WD-40 fluid;
  • when the bolt is unscrewed, push the clamp apart with a wide chisel;
  • sticking out the shock absorber, clean and move the fist;
  • vertically, do the reinstallation of the stand, then put on the spring couplers and remove the top nut while holding the hexagon on the stem. If rust interferes, you can eliminate it with a gas burner;
  • removing all the details, you can start replacing the old shock absorber with a new one;
  • further, collect everything in reverse order.

As you can see, the process is simple as regards the question: should it be necessary to do a similarity collapse after replacing the front shock absorbers? It all depends on the model, if the components are intact, and the body is not damaged, then you can not. Replacing shock absorbers most often does not affect wheel alignment, but with the collapse everything is not so straightforward. If earlier the collapse was not done, then often the mounting bolts of the pillars to the steering knuckles are still from the factory and do not give the opportunity to adjust the camber. But depending on the model of the car or on machines with high mileage, there may be bolts with eccentric or slightly smaller diameter than they came from the factory. In such a situation, the adjustment of the camber is extremely desirable. If the replacement of the warranty and passes to the service station, then similarity collapse is mandatory, because your fault, that the shock absorbers were defective, no.